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Residents asked how to spend £10,000

PUBLISHED: 08:50 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:22 03 July 2010

Residents in Stalham will be asked to pick a project on which to spend £10,000 given by Tesco several years ago.

Community representatives were invited to meet North Norfolk District Council officials last week to discuss what to do with the cash.

Residents in Stalham will be asked to pick a project on which to spend £10,000 given by Tesco several years ago.

Community representatives were invited to meet North Norfolk District Council officials last week to discuss what to do with the cash.

They decided to consult townsfolk on ideas including:

t Replacing play equipment on the town's recreation ground, plus installing a youth shelter and possible BMX track.

t Providing a toilet and covered area for the market.

t Donating it to the Poppy Centre Trust which wants to replace the scout hut on the recreation ground with a new youth building.

t Giving it to a project to provide a wooded area at the bottom of the recreation ground.

Details of the consultation will be thrashed out in February so it can take place in time for a spending decision to be made in May.

The meeting, described as “very positive” by Stalham district councillor Candy Sheridan, followed a long period of confusion over the cash, which is part of a Section 106 agreement, imposed on developers by local authorities to benefit the community.

Tony Ross-Benham, chairman of Stalham Town Council, said they had been aware of the existence of the money for some time, but it was only an application under the Freedom of Information Act which revealed the full details of who was able to access the cash a few weeks ago.

The cash was earmarked for the continuation of the street market, but with a clause allowing the district to spend it at its discretion, said Mr Ross-Benham, who said he was also anxious that Stalham should benefit from any interest which has accrued since the district banked the money several years ago.

Sheila Oxtoby, deputy chief executive of the district council, said the agreement was not specific.

“I spoke to the town council over a year ago and apologised for the lack of action over this money. I explained how, because this Section 106 agreement didn't stipulate what the £10,000 was supposed to be used for, it didn't naturally fit into anyone's area of work and had fallen between several stools,” she said.

“Since then, we have been trying to find a way to spend the money - all we need is for the whole town to agree what to spend it on.”


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